We learned yesterday that the Miami Marlins were on the lookout for a new third baseman and that their search had lead them to the likes of Miguel Tejada in the Winter Leagues. Instead, on Thursday the Fish came to a one-year agreement with former all-star Placido Polanco on a deal worth $2.75 million, pending a physical.
The contract, once official, makes Polanco the second-highest paid member of the Marlins.
The 37-year-old has missed much of the past two seasons due to injury, but was the starting third baseman for the National League in the All-Star Game of 2011. He also took home a Gold Glove award for that year. Polanco had previously won two such awards as a second baseman.
Polanco provides very little power, but makes contact at a high rate. With Juan pierre slated to lead-off, Polanco’s an ideal number two hitter who is adept at going the other way and hitting deep in the count, which will give Pierre an opportunity to run. While neither Pierre nor Polanco is anything close to young, if healthy these two should give Miami enough of a spark at the top of the order to make sure that Giancarlo Stanton hits with men on base as often as possible.
For Polanco, this is a chance to get regular at bats, which is something he wasn’t going to find annywhere else. If he plays well, there’s a good chance he’ll find himself in another pennant race, as almost assuredly the Marlins will be trading anyone with any value that makes more than the league minimum.